PRESIDENT TRUMP’S DECEMBER 2017 TAX PLAN ELIMINATES DEDUCTIONS FOR ALIMONY PAYMENTS

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The burden of paying spousal support is about to reverse.  That’s because there’s a new tax law called, Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), that was passed by Congress in December 2017, that has effectively abolished tax deductions on alimony payments beginning January 1, 2019.  Under the new Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, alimony payments will be neither tax deductible for the paying spouse nor taxable in the hands of the recipient spouse.

This new law will apply to payments that are required under divorce or separation instruments that are:

(1) executed after December 31, 2018, or,

(2) modified after that date if the modification specifically states that the TCJA treatments of spousal support payments (not deductible by the payor and not taxable income tax by the recipient) applies forthwith.

This new alimony provision is not retroactive, and it does not apply to divorces and separation orders entered into before 2019.

Until this new law, paying spousal support could be considered a “win-win” situation for both divorcing spouses.  The payor receives the benefit of a reduced tax obligation and the payee receives the benefit of more income than might otherwise be forthcoming if the payor spouse wasn’t receiving the benefit of the tax deduction.

This change in law could now prove expensive for individuals who must pay spousal support, because the tax savings normally derived from deducting spousal support payments can be substantial for high-earners.  One of the biggest disadvantages of the new tax law is that it could affect the desire of a higher-earning spouse to settle with their dependent spouse, since the deduction acts as a great motivator for the higher wage earner to agree to help support the spouse with less income in the first place.

WINDOW IS STILL OPEN

There is still a window for the payor to receive deductions for spousal support payments, but that window is closing.  If you are involved in divorce proceedings, or you are thinking about divorcing, and you want deductible spousal support treatment for some or all of the payments that you will make to your soon-to-be-ex, the TCJA gives you a huge incentive to get your divorce agreement wrapped up and signed by December 31, 2018.

On the other hand, if you anticipate being the recipient of spousal support, you have a big incentive to put off finalizing your agreement until next year, because the payments will become tax-free to you.

Either way, you should contact a specialist in family law, someone who is experienced in divorce tax issues, to get the best tax results for yourself.  Tax-wise, waiting too long could turn out to be an expensive mistake for years to come.

Lastly, be warned that many otherwise competent divorce lawyers are not up to speed on many of the new tax changes.  So don’t assume that just any family law attorney is capable of guiding you to the best tax results in your divorce.  Do your homework.  Contact a specialist in family law who is up to date on the latest tax changes that might affect you.  Find out who can best represent you regarding your spousal support requirements, and other family law-related issues.

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THERE WAS A MAJOR GOLD RESET BUT NOBODY IS TALKING ABOUT IT IN FAMILY LAW — UNTIL NOW

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Is the American financial system really crashing?  And if so, what are the indicators we should be looking for?  ITM Trading’s Chief Marketing Analyst Lynette Zang says we’ve been getting signals of a crash for quite some time now.

The former stockbroker and investment banker says she’s been referencing what she calls “pattern shifts” that have been speeding up since October of 2017.  She notes that “insiders”, heads of corporations like boards of directors and CEOs, have been “running for the exits” financially.

Zang also notes how global Central Banks, “not in this country, and not in Canada, but everywhere else,” are massively accumulating gold.  Why are they doing this?  Why are some of the world’s biggest banks and corporate heads “massively accumulating gold”?  Could it be that the gold hordes will be utilized toward a coordinated backing of those nations’ currencies?

Zang says it only makes financial sense.  “Because gold is a savings based currency,” the chief marketing analyst says.  Zang believes other countries are accumulating gold in record numbers in preparation for the reset of the debt.  If we’re a family, for instance, and we have a financial crisis, we can bail ourselves out of trouble through our savings.  Theoretically, we can throw money at it and get out of that crisis.  That’s one reason savings are so critical to our families’ survival.  But if we have no savings when that next crisis hits, how do we get out it?

Same thing with nations.  And if you’re a huge government like the United States, and you seemingly have no savings, just a bunch of intertwined bureaucracies trying to take the thin margin of profit from one another, what are you going to do when there’s no margin left to loot?  Where’s the money going to come from?  Where as individuals are we going to get our family’s financial security from?  Lynette Zang says that’s when it’s time to start a new financial system.

COME ON.  A NEW FINANCIAL SYSTEM?

Zang says that the reason a country should have major amounts of gold in its reserves is because, from a national perspective, gold creates fiscal responsibility.  That’s why all the other countries are buying it up in record numbers.

Now as far as the reset is concerned, it is about resetting the debt.  Zang says that if the financial reset is on a global scale, which she believes it is, because all the countries are in major financial debt, then the countries with the gold are going to be the ones with the savings.  They’re the ones who are going to be able to do the business, because they have savings.  The United States is not one of those countries.  That’s how the wealth is going to be transferred.

THATS HOW THE WEALTH IS GOING TO BE TRANSFERRED?

That’s how the American dollar has gone.  In the beginning, it was 100% backed by gold.  Then it was 25% backed.  We were taken off of that during the Nixon administration in 1971.  If having gold is a sign of fiscal responsibility, America’s dire financial condition is a sign of our lack of fiscal responsibility.

Zang believes that we who populate the United States will ultimately end up with Venezuela style hyperinflation.  If you don’t know what that means, look it up.  A good majority of the citizens in Venezuela operate from below the poverty line.  Economists say we’re going to suffer a similar fate.  Our standard of living is going to shift dramatically.  Globally on average about 80% of the population ends up in abject poverty.  In Venezuela that number is ninety percent.

Venezuela did a formal reset of their currency to gold on February 9th of this year.  The price of gold went up that day.

When the system crashes it’s not like you’re going to take your gold and silver and bury it in the back yard.   What you want to do is be prepared.  Think about your standard of living, and do what you can do to sustain that.  Food, water, energy, security, community, and silver and gold as barter.  Small denominations to be used for a tank of gas or to go to the grocery store and purchase blueberries.

During a financial crisis like Venezuela has faced, gold or silver may not pay you interest, but it is the safest thing you can do currency wise.  Zang also says you want a certain amount of cash out of the banks, because we’re not going to be given notice when the bank is going to shut down, or we’re not going to be able to get access to the financial system.  The more digital the financial system becomes, the more important cash will become.

Zang refers to 1996 when the National Security Agency white paper on cryptocurrencies came out which referenced cryptos as being outside the system.  “They are private,” she says.  “They’re invisible.”  You can have them in a wallet.  Zang believes this might be stretching the true intentions of the coming financial system, but she can’t be sure.  She wonders whether by telling us cryptocurrencies are outside the system, that they really mean that cryptos are “the system” the globalist controlling Banksters want us to adopt.

Other sources have alluded to the concept that in the U.S. there’s going to be a gold-backed cryptocurrency that will replace the U.S. dollar as our national currency.  In either scenario, it sounds like we’d better practice up on our digital cryptocurrency skills.  And save some gold and silver buried under a tree.  And read up on Venezuela-style hyperinflation and what it’ll take to survive it.

 

 

 

 

HOW DO YOU PREPARE YOUR FAMILY FOR A FINANCIAL RESET?

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Does anybody who’s ever tried keeping their family’s heads above treacherous financial waters have any idea what in the world is going on right now?  Overseas, we’ve got accusations of chemical attacks and fake chemical attacks simultaneously coming out of Syria and England.  We’ve got threats of a major trade war between the United States and China.

Domestically, we’ve got a U.S. dollar that is worth four cents on the dollar, with the value declining as I write this.  The U.S. bond market and stock market, both pegged to the U.S. dollar, are filled with too high prices and too much risk, so they no longer provide a guaranteed safe haven to protect our assets from the declining U.S. dollar.

We have President Trump with his tax cuts, and Central Banks that are talking about raising the interest rates.  Our economy has been stretched to the max.  This last series of programs that were put into action by the Federal Reserve Bank since our last crash in 2008 have failed.  And all of this is happening at the exact same time.  It’s a recipe for disaster, and now someone is talking about a complete financial “reset,” and we have to wonder how that will affect our ability to feed and clothe our families during difficult days to come.

Why is all of this happening right now?  According to Lynette Zang, Chief Marketing Analyst at ITM Trading, ten years of American Central Bank failures means that all of the fiat money assets that were targeted for “‘reflation’ have created tremendous bubbles, and now they’re trying to undo the experiments with our economy.”  They’re trying to undo what?

Zang, who has worked in commercial banking since 1986, says what we have witnessed is a Central Bank rally followed by what appears to be a Central Bank crash — with whatever is to follow.

“The Fed is going to start tapering their stimulus,” the former stock broker and investment banker says.  In other words, print, print, print money is all we know, and now the scant part of that flow that came down to us is being cut off.

Zang says what fuels this whole financial system, which is called a “fiat currency system”, is the constantly compounding debt.  “And interest rates are the tools that they use to speed that up or slow that down,” she says.

Our problem is the world has been anchored at zero percent interest for too long.  “That means they’re out of the tools that they typically would use to do that,” Zang says, “which is why they’re trying to unwind and normalize something that isn’t normal to begin with.”

Our money system is not normal to begin with because it is based on debt.  The best we can do in our present day financial reality is borrow more, of what the Federal Reserve “prints”, so we can buy what we can afford to borrow — at a price, that compounds daily with interest.  And now the Federal Reserve Bank has no more tools to keep it going.  The American financial house of cards is rapidly crashing, and what exactly that means to us, the average person struggling to make a living and raise a family of four, will be up to us.

According to Zang, “they’ve” been calling for a “reset” since 2013, and “they’ve” run out of options.  There’s no purchasing power left in the U.S. dollar.  All the currencies in the world that are tied to the U.S. dollar have eroded over time due to inflation, to near worthlessness.  And that’s what all of our family law community assets are tied into.  It’s all going down the tubes.

“They’re talking about a financial reset,” Zang says, “but it looks more like a planned demolition.”  The Central Banks are in huge trouble.

We, here, in the real world, have no choice but to get our heads around this concept of a new financial reset.  We need to understand what’s going on.  Big changes are happening to us and we’re not being told about it straight forward.  We need to find answers to tough questions.  We need to ask those tough questions.  We need to understand how this financial crisis that is happening, and is apparently going to get much worse, is going to affect us if we’re an average family of four who just happens to be going through the biggest crisis of our lives, and it’s called divorce.

So what is a financial “reset”?  Is it getting rid of the debt, a new currency?  What?
“Transitioning us into the new financial system,” Zang says cryptically.  “Establishing the new financial system they have in mind, which ties into cryptocurrencies and cyberspace.”

If what Zang says is true, then the situation we find ourselves in appears clear enough.  We are going from a debt based financial system to one that is centered around crypto currencies, cyberspace, and digital money controlled by a central governing process.

If we’ve gone to the grocery store lately or tried to buy movie tickets we know our dollar is buying less.  Everything we own seems to be going down in value while everything we need gets too expensive to buy.  We’re forced to settle for less and make difficult choices as to how we’re going to spend our precious remaining financial resources.

The old financial system that started under U.S. President Richard Nixon in 1971 was based on debt.  That debt, and all the compounded interest that has accrued on it, stands today as not payable.  And the interest on that debt continues to add up.

Zang says a “reset” to the financial system begins with a reset of the debt.  She says we have been dealing with nothing but compounding interest, which is “what creates money in the system, and we’re never going to get out of debt.”  It’s the way the system was built and they are going to have to “reset” the debt, so we will be able to continue to function economically as individuals and a nation.  But at what price?

Our currency, the U.S. dollars we spend to buy food, gas, and clothing, are merely debt instruments that don’t pay interest.  Our financial system is based on the foundation of never ending debt.  We’ve reached the end of the line.  Compounding interest will never be paid off.  “It has to reset.”  “The system doesn’t work anymore.”  “It died in 2008.”  “It’s a zombie system.”  “The entire system will crash.”  These are Lynette Zang’s words, not mine.

And the question remains.  What do families have to do to have a chance to survive in a rapidly changing world like this?  The answer is they have to learn the truth of the world that swirls by them while they’re busy making plans, or playing with their cell phones.  Heads of families have to take the time to learn to understand what is truly going on in the economic realm in which they live.  Right now, we in America are living on borrowed time, financially, and most of us don’t even realize it.  We might be aware that something is going on, that bills are becoming difficult to pay, but we don’t really pay attention to finding solution to our ever increasing financial difficulties.

That’s why we’ve got to deal with the true nature of today’s realities, financially and otherwise.  We’ve got to do our homework.  We’ve got to weed out the lies in information we receive and determine who’s telling the truth.  We’ve got to understand that, financially, our dollar may be about to disappear.  That there most probably is some kind of major change coming to our financial system and the currency we will use to live on.  That we’re going to have to understand what that is all about, how it will affect us, so we can figure out how to preserve what assets we have left.  We must learn to understand how a financial “reset” will affect the future of our families.

Where does your family stand on this?

 

DIVORCE MEDIATION ALLOWS FOR IMPROVED COMMUNICATION WITH YOUR SPOUSE

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Divorce can be a very difficult process for two people. Emotions can run high, heartbreak, stress, and anger can set in. Many spouses feel disappointment and frustration and they struggle to effectively communicate with one another about the complex feelings that surge through them. This can lead to destructive communication which can shatter your ability to exchange important ideas. Yelling, name calling, abusive language, withholding of information, one spouse or the other shutting down completely, and other destructive behaviors retard progress in a divorce, and everyone suffers.

In family law mediation one of the mediator’s chief responsibilities is to facilitate open communication between the sides. A mediator may need to coach the parties on the best techniques to use to communicate with one another civilly and rationally. Some spouses need to learn that if they’re going to resolve their family law issues, without spending all their money on lawyer’s fees and subjecting themselves to bankruptcy, they’re going to have to learn how to communicate with each other.

In divorce, it would be cost prohibitive to expect your attorney to make contact with your spouse about every minor issue that arises. Divorce attorneys cost money, and their bills can add up fast. If you can learn to communicate with your spouse, even though everyone’s upset with or not speaking to each other, mediation is a possibility, and you can save money. There are instances, however, where mediation is not appropriate. Like if one spouse is so aggressive toward the other that he or she makes it difficult to even speak with them directly, then you’ll need an attorney, and you’re going to have to litigate your divorce. You’ll also need an attorney to represent you if you have a restraining order that prohibits contact with your spouse due to domestic violence.

Each mediator does things a little differently, but they’re there to help you get a fresh start in dealing with your spouse. The mediator is there to help spouses find solutions to problems you have been unable to or unwilling to solve between yourselves. Mediators guide the communication process so that both of you are able to express what it is that you want to accomplish. The mediator can help clear up misunderstandings between divorcing spouses. The idea of mediation is to create an environment suitable to generate meaningful discussion between two people who once loved each other in an effort to solve nagging, difficult problems. If the two of you learn to communicate more clearly, you can again generate positive feelings toward one another.

In an effort to facilitate better communication and harmony between two spouses during mediation or divorce, I offer the following 5 suggestions:

1) Respect thy spouse.

Treat your spouse with respect at all times. At all times, treat your spouse as you would want your spouse to treat you. What other way would you want to have it? A divorce cannot be a battle to the death, where everybody gets emotionally bloodied, and still have all parties come out as winners. Divorce mediation is premised on the idea of getting away from the conflict of courtroom litigation. It is an opportunity for two sides to sit down and work things out. Mediation can be beneficial for personal emotional balance, your relationship with your spouse, and your children’s needs. Sitting down and speaking calmly and rationally with your soon-to-be-ex-spouse may be the last thing in the world you want, but respectful communication makes divorce healthier for everyone involved. Any ultimate agreement you may want to make with your spouse will begin with the respect you demonstrate.

2) Set boundaries, set aside familiarities.

Even in the tamest of divorces, setting boundaries is an important step. Just because you were once married, and you are very familiar with each other, doesn’t mean that you have to fall back into old behavior patterns. They must be broken. It is very easy for you and your spouse to cross boundaries without even realizing it. It is a good idea to agree on how often you will communicate with each other and in which manner. Discuss with your spouse what your preferred modes of communication are, whether by text, phone, e mail, or the like, and stick to it. Respond when your schedule permits. If talking on the phone or in person creates too many issues, then e mail might be the better form of communication.

If you or your spouse are the needy / clingy type, or if you are frustrated or impatient and want to communicate too frequently, like several times per day, then you may want to establish more limited communication exchanges. Try once per day, or once per week. By establishing these boundaries up front, expectations for communication can be managed, which allows for everyone to be on the same page. Fulfilled expectations help reduce a lot of disagreement and stress. Make clear parameters for communications and let your spouse know ahead of time you will respond at your earliest convenience. Specify if you only want to respond to emergency requests or whether you are comfortable with steady communications, but be clear and respectful.

You don’t have to respond to every communication attempt by your ex. Ignore trivial issues and avoid additional conflict. Taking your time to respond to your spouse’s anxieties will give you the opportunity to think things through and come up with an appropriate and courteous response.

3) Be present, focus on the issues at hand

Divorce can be messy and sometimes it just can’t be avoided. While dividing community assets and debts and establishing custody and support for minor children emotions will heighten and spouses will get excited. Bitterness and frustration over grievances with your spouse can hamper your relationship. Stress about how you’re going to deal with debts and finances will churn your stomach. You lose track of what’s important during
conversations with your spouse and you start arguing about meaningless issues.

Be present. Concentrate only on the issues being discussed now when in mediation. Experience the senses of the mediation process; the sights, smells, sounds, tastes, and touches, that surround you, now, and stay focused on the issues you are discussing. Try to avoid acting out based on previous grievances with your spouse. Don’t bring yesterday’s anger into today’s mediation session. Forget about the future as well, for now. We may never get there. Take a deep breath and focus on what you do have – the here and the now – the only thing you have control of at this moment.

4) Tone it down, clown

Get out of unhealthy habits. Stop talking to your spouse from a negative emotional space as if he or she is a demonic movie villain. Even if you are angry at your spouse you must not express that in your communications. Although you might be tempted to be sarcastic, raise your voice, or mimic your spouse, don’t do it. Frustration and emotional imbalance combined with familiarity are known to breed negative tones and you have to be present and you have to be aware of it, and you have to control your mouth. Even when you lose your emotions and get angry it is better to just get up and walk away. Stay out of the headspace of hurt and find the heart space of forgiveness and move forward. While no one should have to take abusive words from a spouse, these negative tones are inappropriate and only escalate disagreement.

Speak to your spouse the way you would like your spouse to speak to you. By doing so, you foster an atmosphere for open and respectful communication, which is much more helpful to the divorce process than condescending tones and bitter feelings.

5) Find the common ground

Agreement can be such a wonderful thing. It feels good to accomplish something that is important. So during mediation why not start communicating about something you and your spouse agree on, and go from there, spreading out into bigger issues. Heart is another wonderful common ground in mediation. We all have one, all we need to do is find it, and communicate from there. When you are in mediation, or litigation for that matter, find your heart space, and stay there. Create a new healthy paradigm with your spouse. Stay out of your mind, the past negativities, the future stresses, because it’ll make you crazy. And your children will appreciate you for it.

The welfare of your children is another wonderful common ground to consider when mediating with your spouse. You and your spouse want nothing but the best for the children, so frame your hearts and minds to achieve that goal first. Figure out custody of your children and go from there. You and your spouse might remember that you once built your relationship on common ground, and if you can find it again in family law mediation, you can turn it into settlement agreement that benefits everyone.

 

HOW DO I FIND THE BEST FAMILY LAW MEDIATOR TO SETTLE MY DIVORCE?

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You’ve already made two important decisions with your spouse like agreeing that it’s time to get a divorce. The two of you also communicated well enough to agree on mediation rather than litigation, but you and your spouse are miles apart regarding other important issues like the custody and support of your children and the division of the community assets accrued during the marriage. Your spouse claims he wants to take the children back east to live with his family, but you’ll have nothing to do with that. But you will claim a half share of his pension, you want to keep the family residence for the kids and you to live in, and you want your spouse to assume all of the community debt and take that back east instead of the kids.

You and your spouse have major disagreements as to how the life of your family as a whole and the lives of each individual member shall continue down the road. That may be why you’re getting a divorce in the first place. Who’s going to help you resolve these major issues in a fair and equitable manner is an important question to answer. And how do you find that person who possesses the requisite skills and experience to be able to guide the two of you and your children into the best possible position to succeed in what has become a very tumultuous and challenging economic time period in all of our lives? These are questions that have to be asked if you’re going to find the right mediator for your family.

Your divorce mediator should be competent and qualified to resolve the financial issues that are unique to your specific situation in the realities of today’s world. The divorce mediator needs to understand your family issues in dealing with the children and custody so that all parties will win. You’re going to want to find someone who has the years of training, education, and experience to identify the issues regarding the financial and tax considerations involved with dividing up the family business, retirement and / or investment accounts.

You’re not going to want to leave your divorce up to an inexperienced mediator. You’re not going to want someone involved who’s inexperienced in family law matters. You’re going to want to have the best and most experienced family law specialist your money can afford who has a reputation within the legal community for possessing the skills to mediate and cajole two parties into a fair settlement agreement. Your success in the mediation process lies squarely on the experience level and competency of your mediator to bring about a mutual settlement agreement, and you have the control of that. So how do you find such a person?

Take the time and do the research. Your family’s future life depends on it. If you already have an attorney, ask that attorney who they might recommend to mediate your divorce. Maybe you know someone who’s recently gone through a divorce, and they’re pleased with how their attorney handled it, and see if you can speak with that attorney. If not, see who the opposing attorney was. Take the extra step to speak with as many successful family law knowledgeable persons as possible. Interview them. Ask questions and get answers. Take notes. Get professional legal opinions and use them as advise toward helping you make the important decision as to whom you’re going to hire. That’s smart business sense. Take your attorney-shopping seriously.

When considering prospective mediators, keep in mind the following 5 important points:

1) Peaceful high quality mediation is considered a blessing in family law circles.

It is difficult to find the right attorney who possesses sufficient family law experience and people skills to mediate divorce to fair settlement agreement. Peaceful high quality mediation creates a people friendly environment providing great opportunity for turning sit-down meetings into final agreements. Find a mediation attorney who knows how to make peace with others. Find a family law mediator who knows how to transform peace of mind into fair settlement agreement.

2) Cost effectiveness and fair results in any settlement agreement are essential.

Ask your prospective mediator what they anticipate the mediation process will require in your case to bring it to a close to your satisfaction. You need legal completion in this matter and you want to make sure this mediation lawyer prospect will bring that quality to the table. How much money does the potential family law mediator believe the mediation process will cost you? How long will it take reasonable parties to reach a successful settlement agreement? Of course yours and your spouse’s willingness to cooperate and compromise with each other, and to communicate your differences will play a critical role in any effort to reach agreement. But, again, one of the major points to consider in mediation is saving money. Mediation can be more satisfactory than litigation, if you do it right.

3) Your Divorce Mediator must be thorough and any settlement agreement must be in the best interests of all parties concerned, and that means the children.

You want a divorce mediator who’s been doing family law for a while. You want someone who’s had many life experiences, which probably includes having a family and children of their own; a family law attorney who from personal experience can empathize with what you’re experiencing personally in your divorce. Is your potential mediator a person who is in tune with the world as it revolves very fast around them at this time? Or does this attorney have their proverbial head in the sand on important social issues? A family law mediator should be someone who strives to understand the issues of the world as it relates to the needs of your children and their parents, and how that relates to your soon to be changed-for-good life after divorce.

4) It is important to choose a Divorce Mediator who can utilize heart, knowledge, and experience while working to help you resolve your unique family law issues.

You can’t have a robot regurgitating the law back to you if it has no practical application toward the realities of your personal situation and where you go from here. You need someone who can assist you and your spouse and lead you to that higher step; someone who understands what it is like to be you, to feel your pain, to know your desires of what your future happiness really means in the family law arena. Experience can be summed up in a prospect mediator’s CV or resume. Knowledge comes in many forms and can be applied to creating greater understanding leading to ultimate agreement in your case. Understanding many different aspects of life, and being able to utilize learned skills and crafts from these many aspects, can be important in helping someone to better facilitate equitable agreement in any form. Knowledge plus experience equals understanding. And throw in a little heart, which is sometimes a unique experience in the family law industry, then you and your family can realistically set out with hope for a future filled with prosperity and good health. It helps to have a mediator who understands this.

5) If you research the Internet be sure to seek a divorce mediator not business or general mediator.

You want the best brain surgeon for brain surgery, but probably not to deliver your baby or fix your speech problem. You’ll leave that up to other kinds of specialists. Same thing for family law mediation. You need someone who lives and breathes family and law. If your search for a family law mediation specialist is being done on the Internet, search for family law specifically, not mediators in general. Mediators specialize in bringing about resolution and agreement to disputes. It’s an alternative form of dispute resolution. Mediators are generally trained with skills in bringing about resolution without any specific application to family law understanding. You want in a mediator someone who lives, breathes, and mediates family law, someone who understands how it is to mediate a family law matter to a reasonable conclusion.

WHAT IS FAMILY LAW MEDIATION?

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What is divorce mediation?

Family Law mediation is one of the more common methods of negotiating to settlement the legal issues that arise in a divorce. It is not going into court and litigating each issue tooth and nail. In divorce mediation matters, you and your soon-to-be-ex-spouse may hire a specialist in family law as mediator, someone who will meet with you in an effort to resolve your differences and come to a negotiated agreement. The family law specialist acts as mediator and facilitator who will help you and your spouse resolve your issues in a fair and equitable manner.

Mediation of a divorce is an important option both parties should consider as it saves costs and stress for both parties. Mediation is designed to help both parties and has a long list of benefits for families. The benefits include, but are not limited to:

• Mediation usually costs much less than litigation which may require a series of court hearings.
• With your direct participation, mediation should result in a comprehensive settlement of all the issues in your matter.
• Mediation is confidential, meaning there is no public record of declarations or financial information.
• A lawyer of your choice can still give you legal advice during your mediation.
• Your spouse and you are in control of the entire process of mediation.
• The mediation process allows time for you to improve communication with your spouse.
• Mediation will help minimize the emotional damage children may experience during their parents’ divorce.
• Maybe most importantly, mediation allows you to negotiate the terms of your agreement based on your own ideas as to what is fair in your situation and what is best for your family as a whole as opposed to having a solution imposed upon you by a family law judge that is based upon impersonal legal principles.

Mediation is not for all divorcing couples. Matters where there is a history of domestic violence or an imbalance of power between the parties may not be right for mediation. But if your spouse and you are willing to communicate and compromise with each other in a rational manner with open minds you could mediate.

Your Divorce Mediator should be a specialist in family law who will help the two of you stay on track with the issues and in tune to one another, to listen to each other, to respect and understand each other’s opinions. It is important to listen to your spouse’s perspective and to be willing to compromise. Compromise is key to reaching a fair and mutually beneficial settlement in the mediation process.

Being able to empathize with your spouse’s position is important. Hopefully your spouse will do the same. They will feel what it’s like to be you. The idea is that you reach an agreement based on trust and understanding where both of your best interests, and those of the children if there are any, are taken into account and addressed.

This mutual understanding will be drafted by the mediator into a settlement agreement. If children are involved, a parenting schedule or a parenting plan will be needed. Other legal documents will be drafted such as a Petition for Dissolution or Legal Separation, and Financial Disclosure documents. The mediation process allows you and your spouse to decide the terms to live by in a divorce, terms that you agree to live by, without your family having to suffer through the negative emotions and financial costs of a courtroom trial.

MEDIATION MAKES YOU A DIRECT PART OF YOUR FAMILY LAW SOLUTION

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Savings on emotional and financial costs are not the only reasons to mediate rather than litigate your family law matters, or any legal matter, for that matter. Some people mediate their family law cases so they can have a direct hand in exactly what the terms of their settlement will be. They can agree to the terms they are forced to live by. That’s because the agreement will be negotiated by and between the parties themselves, with legal understanding and helpful cajoling provided by their mediating attorney, as they reach a mediated family law settlement agreement, rather than fighting it out in court.

If you do choose to litigate your child custody, spousal support, or community property division issues in court you could become soundly disappointed with the legal results. A litigant loses control of the outcome of his or her case when it goes to court, where your heart and pocket book can be broken for any number of reasons.

First of all, in court someone else is deciding your case for you, and he or she is called the Judge. Secondly, the law may not be on your side of your family law issues to start with. And you may have to learn the expensive way why you can’t just get up and move out of state with your children if dad/mom on the other side doesn’t want you to.

Or maybe you’re not able to prove up to the court your ownership interest in certain alleged community assets. Or the child custody and visitation mediator doesn’t deem you the best custodial parent of your child in this particular legal arrangement, and the judge follows the mediator’s recommendation against granting you custody of your children.

The point is that you don’t control the outcome to your family law dispute when you litigate in court. The judge takes over that duty for you, aided by input in the form of motions and pleadings filed by your attorneys, and the opinions of family law and financial experts. The judge decides your fate and the fate of your family for every issue that you put before him or her. It’s all a very expensive proposition.

When you litigate, the Family Law Judge is the only person in the universe to decide whether your children live with your soon-to-be-former-spouse or you; whether you get to stay or whether you have to move out of your family residence; whether you or the other party gets half of whose pension, or not. These are the risks involved with litigating your case in court.

That’s why some parties mediate their legal issues with an experienced family law specialist. If they can understand the law as it truly applies to them, and if they can agree to work together, in many instances like they never have before, and if they can understand how to communicate with one another, to rationally discuss the important issues of their family’s present day-to-day realities, and then be willing to compromise on some if not all of those issues, then those who were once adversaries can now become a winning team. Your family can thrive.

Honest communication and ultimate agreement between otherwise disagreeing spouses is critical to successfully mediating family law matters. If you cannot communicate with your spouse and ultimately come to agreement about issues that you haven’t previously been able to agree upon, then you may have to litigate your case, which turns into great emotional and financial expense for everyone involved. It wears on parents and children alike.

But if the parties do communicate productively, and the two sides can sit down with a seasoned family law specialist to mediate your differences about custody, visitation, property division and the like, into a fair settlement, that you will personally help to create, a settlement that’s truly in yours and your children’s best interests, then you will be able to save yourself a lot of money and negative emotion.

You will be able to breathe easier and move forward in your life, rather than fight and stress-out with your ex. Your children will have a better chance to prosper and move forward with their lives along with you, just as you planned it. That’s because you and your spouse communicated well enough to hammer out the specific terms of your family’s future with a mediated family law settlement agreement, and you didn’t leave it up to the family law court to decide your family’s fate for you.

 

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